You are 24 Weeks Exactly 112 days to go…

Even though you’re well settled into your pregnancy, ensure you maintain all those healthy lifestyle habits you’ve established.

Your baby today

As your pregnancy advances your baby’s skeleton starts to harden, reflecting more of the ultrasound beam and casting black shadows. In this scan, the forehead casts a shadow, and it is no longer allowing the brain beneath to be easily seen.

You’ve been pregnant for almost six months and are, hopefully, feeling great in yourself. Don’t, however, let this make you complacent. Even though your baby is well developed by this stage, it’s important to maximize her health, and your own, by continuing to eat well and taking care of yourself. Changes, such as not smoking or drinking alcohol, will probably be part of your normal lifestyle now as opposed to something that you have to think about and work hard at. If you have not managed to change your lifestyle to become more healthy, then it is never too late to start. Any changes you make now will benefit both you and your baby.

While you’ll need to adapt your exercise routine, if you have one, in these later stages, ensure you continue to be active and, ideally, do something physical every day, even if it’s just a 20-minute stroll. Also keep up your daily Kegel exercises—once the baby is born, you’ll be thankful you did.

… Dads
Hello, it’s Daddy

Don’t be afraid to talk to your baby. To begin with, she will recognize lower-pitched sounds, such as deep male voices, more than higher-pitched sounds, like your partner’s voice. This is good for you since it means that there is plenty of time for your baby to get to know your voice before she is born. After birth, your baby will recognize your voice and this will have a calming effect when she is distressed. So tell her about your day and even read to her—it helps create a bond.

A correctly worn seat belt reduces the risk of injury to the unborn baby by 70 percent.

In recent research, over half of pregnant women did not wear their seat belt correctly, positioning it too high across the abdomen and putting the torso strap behind them rather than over the shoulder.

How to wear a seat belt

It may feel cumbersome to wear a seat belt while you’re pregnant, but it is essential, and a legal requirement. The good news is it’s possible to buckle up comfortably.

For maximum safety and comfort, wear the seat belt positioned between your breasts and under your belly.

  • Fasten the belt over your shoulder, as normal, and between your breasts (see image).

  • Position the lower part of the belt below your belly, and flat over your hips (see image).

    If an emergency stop is necessary, be reassured that your baby is very safely cushioned by the amniotic fluid that surrounds her and your strong uterine muscles.

Your 25th Week

The rest of your pregnancy will pass before you know it. Make sure you have all the practicalities in hand, such as deciding what date to stop work, and you might want to give some thought to the birth. Meanwhile, friends and family will no doubt be monitoring your growing belly with interest. Try to be patient if they bombard you with advice and don’t listen to too many “tall tales” about pregnancy and childbirth.


It’s the end of the second trimester, so you might want to start looking ahead

You are 24 Weeks and 1 Day 111 days to go…

This week, think about starting discussions with your employer about your upcoming maternity leave.

Your baby today

From this week, brown fat is laid down in your baby’s neck, chest, and back to be used after birth to produce heat and energy. At the moment he has no control over his temperature, which is efficiently maintained at a perfect level by the placenta.

Since you’re more than halfway through your pregnancy by now and are likely showing, you’ve probably already told your boss that you’re pregnant. But just informing your company isn’t enough—you need to know all the details that pertain to your upcoming maternity leave and what will happen if you decide to stop working before the baby is born. Every company has different guidelines; some include paid maternity leave while others do not. Talk with a human resources representative to discuss your company’s policies on maternity leave and time off. If paid time off isn’t available, your company may allow you to use paid vacation days or sick leave, and you may be eligible for FMLA leave.

… Your body
Stretchy skin

You may have developed stretch marks due to your skin stretching rapidly as you gain pregnancy weight. Initially, these marks are pinky/red and can be itchy. After pregnancy, stretch marks fade to a lighter, silvery color and become less obvious. They generally occur on the breasts, belly, hips, and thighs, and affect the majority of pregnant women.

Stretch marks can be genetic and are more likely to occur the older you are because older skin is less elastic. Moisturizing the skin won’t prevent stretch marks but it may help to keep it smooth. A combination of exercising and eating healthily can minimize the rate at which you gain weight and “stretch.”

… Doctor
Q: My doctor measured me and said I seem small for dates. What does this mean?
A: It means your baby appears to be small for your stage of pregnancy, but it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a problem. You’ll be given a scan for an accurate measurement and so that your baby’s development can be thoroughly checked.

Sometimes slow growth is due to a condition called intrauterine growth restriction or retardation (IUGR). It can be due to a problem with the placenta, multiple babies, or heart disease in the mother, affecting the nutrients reaching the baby. Preeclampsia can cause IUGR, as can smoking, alcohol, and recreational drugs.

You may be eligible for Family and Medical Leave Act leave.

You must have worked for an employer for at least 12 months (1,250 hours in the past 12 months), and within 75 miles of 50 or more company employees.

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